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Witnesses Say Ethiopian Troops Killed at Least 8 in Mogadishu


Witnesses in Somalia's capital say Ethiopian troops shot and killed at least eight people late Tuesday, following a roadside bomb attack.

The witnesses say the bomb hit an Ethiopian military convoy, damaging a truck and causing an unknown number of casualties.

They say after the blast, Ethiopian troops opened fire on a minibus, killing two passengers, and shot several youths in the area, including three brothers.

Attacks on Somali government officials and their Ethiopian allies have increased in recent weeks despite a government claim of victory over Islamist insurgents in late April.

On Tuesday, the interim government offered amnesty to some of the insurgents, although fighters who engage in what officials called "international terrorism" were excluded from the offer.

The government said its move was designed as a goodwill gesture ahead of a planned national reconcilation conference next month.

Violence and organizational problems have forced officials to postpone the conference three times this year, mostly recently a week ago.

Somalia has been mired in chaos for 16 years, since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.